— Scrolling thru Twitter provides some unusual information: it turns out that former Texas A&M football coach RC Slocum once took Mikhail Gorbachev and the older George Bush out to lunch at On The Border in College Station, TX, back in 2001.
Bush/Gorbachev went to a high school baseball game in College Station; afterwards, Gorbachev wanted some Mexican food, and Slocum picked out On The Border as the place to go.
Something you wouldn’t expect to see at a high school game in Texas; the President of the Soviet Union. Go figure.
— Sometimes you learn stuff just by keeping your ears open; I’m watching the Cubs couple of weeks ago— I have Willson Contreras/Christopher Morel on my fantasy team, and TV analyst Rick Sutcliffe is talking about Morel’s recent struggles.
“We’re probably looking at a guy who needed 500 more at-bats in AAA” said Sutcliffe, meaning he thinks Morel needs another year of seasoning in the minors, which doesn’t happen as much now as it used to.
— This week is the 45th anniversary of Duane Kuiper’s one and only major league home run; he hit it on August 29. 1977, against Steve Stone
Kuiper played 12 years in the majors, batted 3,754 times and hit one home run. He was a solid second baseman with very little pop in his bat. He had 917 career hits, a .271 batting average.
Thru his first nine years in the big leagues, Stone was 78-79 as a pitcher, then broke out in 1979 and went 25-7, winning the Cy Young Award. 1980 was his last year in the majors as a player, but he is still there on TV.
45 years later, and Kuiper/Stone are still both really good TV announcers; Kuiper doing play-by-play for the Giants, Stone the color analyst for the White Sox.
— Dodgers 4, Mets 3— Dodgers are now 25-7 in their last 32 games against the Mets.
— Albert Pujols hit his 694th career home run Monday night; he’s hit them against 450 different pitchers.
— Astros put P Justin Verlander (calf) on the IL.
— Gavin Lux plays 2B for the Dodgers; his uncle is Augie Schmidt, who was the #2 pick in the 1982 amateur draft by Toronto, picked three slots ahead of Dwight Gooden. Whoops.
Schmidt never made the major leagues; he played five years in the minor leagues, and is now the baseball coach at Carthage College in Wisconsin— he’s been the coach there for 34 years.
— Tampa Bay’s star P Shane McClanahan skipped his start Tuesday because of a shoulder impingement while warming up; he will likely have a cortisone shot and if things go well, he’ll only miss a couple of weeks.
Tampa Bay is in a heated race for the Wild Card spots; they’re in right now, but McClanahan is a huge part of their success— without him, they’ll struggle to get in the playoffs.
— It drives me nuts when teams shift against Mets’ 2B Jeff McNeil; he is skilled at hitting the ball where the fielders aren’t, a modern-day Wee Willie Keeler “Hit ‘em where they ain’t”
McNeil is hitting .320 this year, with a .372 on-base %age. When the shifts are banned next year, McNeil’s batting average is going to go down- the over-educated morons who dictate defensive positioning now won’t have as much influence going forward.
— Dak Prescott is the only QB on the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster; it is likely that Cooper Rush will eventually return as a backup. Will Grier will be subject to waivers; someone else may take a shot at him.
— No matter what they say, the 49ers keeping Jimmy Garoppolo around adds pressure to 2nd-year QB Trey Lance.
— I know very little about fantasy football, but someone on TV had Jalen Hurts ranked as the #4 QB in fantasy— can that possibly be true, and if so, how?
— Davis Webb went 30-38/202 passing for the Giants Sunday, and was unemployed 48 hours later. Tuesday was a rough day for #3 quarterbacks around the league, almost all of whom will find a job, albeit for less money. Every team needs to at least keep a #3 QB on the practice squad.
— Tennessee Titans made the playoffs four of the last five years; they have a delicate situation on their hands, when to make rookie Malik Willis their starting QB. It is inevitable.
Ryan Tannehill is 30-13 in the regular season with Tennessee, 2-3 in the playoffs, 0-2 the last couple years. He never made the playoffs in five years with Miami. At some point this season, he will be replaced by Willis, just a matter of when.
— Minnesota Vikings dumped both their backup QB’s and traded for Nick Mullens, who has started 17 games for 49ers/Browns.
— This is the state of college sports these days; West Virginia-Pittsburgh renew a regional rivalry Thursday night, playing for first time in 11 years. The starting QB for each team Thursday was once the starting QB at USC. Quarterbacks who don’t start often depart.